Monday, January 24, 2005

snow shadows

snow shadows
Originally uploaded by argusmaniac.
Winter is not my favorite time of year for photography -- when its cold, my glasses fog up while trying to compose in the viewfinder, the cold air sucks the life out of batteries, and everything becomes more difficult. Snow gets frozen in the tripod sections, and of course, in a sunny day, the white snow presents its own challenges.

Having said that, I finally took out my Fuji Finepix S7000 on Sunday, as well as my Nikon FM and my Ricoh Six - a folding 6 x 4.5 camera. It was cold and the snow was certainly pretty, and gave me a good workout trudging through it for a couple of hours.

This photo, taken with the digi, is perhaps my favorite of the day. The long, deeper shadows from the trees contrasts with the tiny, thin shadows cast by the twigs poking out of the snow, and the sun's low position gives the scene a nice dimensionality. I took the same shot with the Nikon FM on Ilford FP4+. Can't wait to see how those print...

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

of summers past

Originally uploaded by argusmaniac.
It's only mid-January, and the weather has been cold the past few days. What better way to warm up than rekindle memories of summer photo shoots by scanning in some slides? Iwas looking for this specific image for a friend, and at first I was skeptical that it was any good. After I scanned it and tweaked it a bit in PS, I am much more pleased with it. It was not ideal conditions for shooting a flower with delicate pink shades, and the Pink ladies' Slipper has pink shades allright. I was on a dragonfly trip, so this was purely a serendipitous find, and I did not have all my gear. Nonetheless, it's okay. Not great, but okay. And it reminds me of a wonderful day with a bunch of fellow dragonfly enthusiasts as we traipsed about the Rifle River State Rec. Area in Ogemaw Co., MI, in July, 2002.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

New Mexico Revisited

Originally uploaded by argusmaniac.
I'm looking back at the shots I took in NM when we visited there in July of 2003. Time has elapsed and I can look at them purely as subjects and how well I like the photo. Some I liked shortly afterwards I look at now, and think differently and sometimes still agree. Others that I didn't like so much for the subject or whatever, I now look at and like the abstract quality, such as this one. Originally taken with my cheapo Vivitar digital, I adjusted the red levels and then desturated in PS. I like it now much better.
I think one thing that IS important to do is to look at ones' earlier efforts to reevaluate them and see how they stand against your current work. Amazing how much one can improve, and much of what I was happy with 5 years ago, I would toss now. Luckily, thise b&w neg sheets don't take up much space...

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Fogged in, but not out

Originally uploaded by argusmaniac.
I love shooting on foggy mornings. Some of my favorite photos have been taken under foggy conditions. Whether it is mist rising from the surface of a lake, or heavy fog inundating the landscape, such conditions are a great challenge to capture the way we see them.

The first thing you have to do is forget any auto-exposure mode. Otherwise, your shots will come out overexposed. Digitally, go to manual mode and bracket your exposures by shutter speed, keeping the same aperture. With film cameras, do the same, but you will want to overexpose for b&w, because you are trying to capture shadow detail.

You will also want to use a tripod or monopod, because your shutter speeds will be slower - and if you are doing landscapes, a tripod really is a necessity, use one!

This photo was shot at 1/6 sec at f8 with my FujiFinePix S7000, on a tripod. No manipulations were performed at all after downloading the image.